Psychiatry Services for Aging & Mental Health

The Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic provides subspecialty outpatient services for adults ages 60 and older with mental health concerns and/or dementia. The mission of our clinic is to increase access to specialized mental health services and raise awareness and understanding of the unique mental health needs of older adults.

Our clinic offers diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment, education, and support for patients with new and ongoing mental health issues. Each initial evaluation of a patient includes a thorough assessment of the biological, psychological, and social factors that can affect their mental health. We may even consult with a patient’s loved ones or caregivers to give us a complete picture of the patient’s background. All of these factors help our providers develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to an individual’s needs.

We have an interdisciplinary team of providers, including:

  • geriatric psychiatrists,
  • neuropsychologists,
  • psychiatry residents,
  • nurse practitioners,
  • social workers, and
  • other health professional trainees.

As part of a larger academic institution, our clinic is also a teaching site for the next generation of mental health care professionals. Psychiatry residents and health care professional trainees will assist with you or your loved one's care. This hands-on experience will teach them how to treat and manage the unique psychiatric and psychosocial issues of older adults.

Virtual Visits Available

Due to COVID-19, we will make every effort to conduct virtual visits. Call our office at 801-587-4848 for more information.

What Is Geriatric Psychiatry?

Geriatric psychiatry is a specialized field of psychiatric care for older adults age 60 and older. The goal of our clinic is to maximize the quality of life and functionality of older adults and empower them to live their best life possible.

What Does a Geriatric Psychiatrist Do?

Geriatric psychiatrists have specialized training in late-life psychiatric syndromes such as dementia, depression, and many other common mental health disorders seen in older adults. Their training includes:

  • psychotherapy with older adults and their families,
  • long-term care psychiatry and consultation-liaison, as well as
  • additional training in geriatric medicine and neurology.

Our geriatric psychiatrists and other care team members understand that older adults have unique physical, emotional, and social needs. Understanding this, our team takes a respectful, compassionate, and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Older man smiling
Senior couple smiling at each other

Services & Treatments

Our care team provides an array of services to help you or your loved one get the most comprehensive treatment available.

  • Consultations for individuals who have been referred to us or are interested in learning more about mental health care
  • Diagnostic evaluations and treatment for new mental health issues
  • Continuing treatment and management for ongoing mental health issues
  • Medication and non-medication management of symptoms
  • Individual psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Psychosocial assessments and assistance connecting with community resources
  • Neuropsychological testing to assist with diagnostic clarification for mood, personality, and cognitive issues
  • Dementia evaluations and continued monitoring for memory decline
  • Identifying and treating behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with dementia
  • Caregiver monitoring, support, and education
  • Partnering with patients and their caregivers through the course of the illness by providing education and support, identifying safety concerns, discussing future care plans, and linking with community resources

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Mental Health Disorders & Conditions We Treat

The following is a non-inclusive list of some of the conditions we treat that are prevalent in older adults:

  • Anxiety disorders — These disorders are classified by overwhelming feelings of uneasiness and apprehension over normal life stressors, which interfere with a person’s physical and mental health.
  • Bipolar disorder — This mood disorder occurs when a person experiences powerful mood swings between periods of mania (feeling “up”) and depression (feeling “down”).
  • Caregiver stress — This condition is characterized by the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that occurs when a person neglects their own health while they care for an ill, injured, or disabled loved one.
  • Dementia — A condition in which a person develops difficulties with cognitive function (memory, judgement, ability to reason, etc. ) severe enough to affect daily activities.
  • Depression — A mood disorder that is more than just “feeling down” or “blue”. When severe, it can affect a person’s ability to function.
  • Memory loss or cognitive impairment —A person may want to see a doctor if their forgetfulness starts to interfere with their everyday life. Memory loss is not always associated with dementia. in some cases, it is a symptom of depression, anxiety, medication side effects, and/or poor sleep.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) An anxiety disorder characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts/ideas/sensations (obsessions) that make people feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions) such as hand washing or turning out the lights.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder — An anxiety disorder that some people develop after seeing or living through a dangerous or traumatic event.
  • Psychosis — This occurs when a person is unable to distinguish between what is real and what is not. It may involve seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or false beliefs (delusions).
  • Schizoaffective disorder — A combination of psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations or delusions) and mood disorder symptoms (such as depression or mania) that can significantly impair a person’s ability to function normally.
  • Schizophrenia — A serious psychiatric disorder that causes a variety of problems which can impair normal functioning. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, extremely disordered thinking and behaviors.
  • Substance abuse The persistent use of addictive substances including alcohol, stimulants, and prescription drugs in spite of negative consequences to a person’s health or worsening problems at work or at home.

What to Expect During Your First Visit

All new patients can expect a welcome phone call to help prepare them for the first visit. You or your loved one will have an initial intake appointment with our social worker who will collect medical, social, and personal history information necessary to develop a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan. For this reason, we may request input from family, loved ones, or caregivers who know the patient well. Patients will then be scheduled for medical care management and/or therapy appointments.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

To make the most of your appointments, please bring the following:

  • health insurance card,
  • a list of all your medications (prescriptions and over-the-counter), including the dosages and when you take them,
  • a family member or caregiver must accompany the patient to all appointments, particularly those with memory complaints,
  • discharge summaries,
  • laboratory reports,
  • head imaging reports, or
  • copies of other records as applicable. 

How to Make an Appointment

For new patients, please call our intake line at 801-587-4848 for more information. We accept most insurance, including Medicare.

Referrals are not necessary to see one of our specialists. However, if you are a referring physician from outside of our U of U Health system, please fill out our online patient referral form.

Healthcare professionals and established patients may call our clinic line at 801-587-8007 to make appointments or inquire about patient referrals.